Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If others learn first I must believe

Eat Rice Have Faith in Women
by Fran Winant

eat rice have faith in women
what I dont know now
I can still learn
if I am alone now
I will be with them later
if I am weak now
I can become strong
slowly slowly
if I learn I can teach others
if others learn first
I must believe
they will come back and teach me
they will not go away
to the country with their knowledge
and send me a letter sometime
we must study all our lives
women coming from women going to women
trying to do all we can with words
then trying to work with tools
and with our bodies
trying to stand the time it takes
reading books when there are no teachers
or they are too far away
teaching ourselves
imagining others struggling
I must believe we will be together
and build enough concern
so when I have to fight alone
there will be sisters
who would help if they knew
sisters who will come
to support me later

women demanding loyalty
each with our needs
our whole lives torn by
the old society
never given the love or work
or strength or safety or information
we could use
never helped by the institutions
that imprison us
so when we need medical care
we are butchered
when we need police
we are insulted ignored
when we need parents
we find robots
trained to keep us in our places
when we need work we are told
to become part of
the system that destroys us
when we need friends
other women tell us
I need to be selfish
youll have to forgive me
but theres only so much time
energy money concern
to go around
I have to think of myself
because who else will
I have to save things for myself
because Im not sure you could save me
if our places were reversed
because I suspect you wont even be around
to save me when I need you...
Im alone on the streets
at 5 in the morning
Im alone cooking my rice
I see you getting your knowledge
and having friends I dont have
and I dont see you coming back
to help me
I imagine myself getting old
I imagine I will have to go away
when Im too old to fight my way
down the streets
my friends getting younger and younger
women my age hidden in corners
in the establishment
or curled up with a few friends
isolated at home
or in the mad house
getting their last shot of
motivation to compete
or grinding out position papers
in the movement
like old commies
waiting to be swept away
by the revolution
or in a hospital
dying of complications
nurse or nun
lesbian in clean clothes
reach out a hand to me
scientists have found
touching is necessary
and the drive to speak our needs
is basic as breath
but there isnt time
none of my needs has been met
and although Im often comfortable
this situation is painful

slowly we begin
giving back what was taken away
our right to the control of our bodies
knowledge of how to fight and build
food that nourishes
medicine that heals
songs that remind us of ourselves
and make us want to keep on with
what matters to us
lets come out again
joining women coming out
for the first time
knowing this love makes
a good difference in us
affirming a continuing life with women
we must be lovers doctors soldiers
artists mechanics farmers
all our lives
waves of women
trembling with love and anger
singing we must rage--
kissing, turn and
break the old society
without becoming the names it praises
the minds it pays

eat rice have faith in women
what I dont know now
I can still learn
slowly slowly
if I learn I can teach others
if others learn first
I must believe
they will come back and teach me

1 comment:

Jodi said...

holy smokes... that is INCREDIBLE! thank you for posting... amazing. amazing. had me on the edge of my seat and hurting inside from all the beautiful painful truths it unearths...